Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thank You for the Shepherds

In anticipation of Christmas, I'm revisiting a series of guest posts that I wrote last year for Tommy Nelson. Our family wishes yours a very blessed Christmas season . . .

Thank You for the shepherds,
Who heard of Jesus’ birth.
They saw the angels in the sky
Announcing peace on earth!

Thank You for the shepherds,
Your precious Christmas gift.

When we hear the story of the shepherds, there’s that iconic scene: shepherds on a hillside, gazing at angels in the air, who are praising God and announcing peace on earth. What a glorious sight that must have been! Oh, what I would have given to be a shepherd that night!

Today, as I was reading back through the scene in Luke 2, a couple of new things came to light.

One, it’s what the first angel says. Before the multitude arrives, there’s just “an angel.” He tells the shepherds not to be afraid. (Why are we so scared of angels?) And then this: “Today your Savior was born” (verse 11 ICB).

I wonder how differently people would feel about Christmas if an angel came down from heaven, approached each and every one of them personally, and said, “Today YOUR Savior was born.” I bet there would be a whole lot more, “HEY! Did ya hear? It’s Christmas! Today, my Savior was born!”

The second thing that jumped out at me was what happened after the angels left. The shepherds turned to one another and said, “Let us go to Bethlehem” (v. 15). There was no theological debate, no whining about the long walk, no calling the kennel for the sheep. Just, “Let us go.” And they went.

What an amazing gift to the shepherds, to be of the first to hear, “Today your Savior was born.” For those of us who have experienced the joy of hearing those words whispered to our hearts, “Let us go” and worship and always remember the impact of those words.

Just as importantly, there are many among us who have a void where that joy should be. They haven’t yet heard the message that on Christmas Day, a Savior was born for them too. Let’s help out the angels by reminding the world of the joy that came to earth that day.

Hey, did ya hear? YOUR Savior was born! Spread the word!

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